These Spicy Chicken Tenders are ridiculously delicious! Chicken strips marinated in buttermilk and hot sauce, then deep fried for extra crispiness. Need I say more?
I mean we could totally just leave it at that, but I guess you’re gonna need some sort of recipe right? Well, without further ado, let’s get straight into it…
Buttermilk Chicken Tenders
Like all good fried chicken recipes, these bad boys start with a buttermilk marinade.
Buttermilk is great for a few reasons. Firstly, it allows you to easily coat the chicken with flour (unlike eggs which are far more likely to go clumpy). Secondly, it’s slightly acidic, meaning it penetrates and tenderises the chicken as it marinates.
Because who doesn’t want tender chicken tenders?
The spicy buttermilk marinade here is actually really simple.
How to make a Spicy Chicken Tender Marinade
- Combine buttermilk, hot sauce, white pepper and salt.
- Mix in chicken strips.
- Cover and marinate for as long as you have time for. Preferably overnight, with an absolute minimum of 2 hours.
Spicy Chicken Breading
Okay, so we’ve got a nice kick of spice from the hot sauce in the marinade, now let’s talk flour breading.
The main heat here comes from cayenne pepper. Alongside onion & garlic powder and paprika, these tenders result in a gorgeous burst of flavour.
No eggs needed and no double dipping. Just a light (but thorough) coating of flour does the trick!
How to coat Spicy Chicken Tenders
- Add flour and spices to a tray (or a bowl).
- Combine until fully blended.
- Add one chicken strip at a time.
- Fully coat, ensuring you cover every spec of the chicken.
- Rest on a wire rack until ready to deep fry.
Deep Fried Chicken Tenders
Unfortunately/fortunately (which ever way you look at it) to get the true KFC style crispy chicken, it’s deep frying all the way.
Hey, nobody said these were healthy 😂
Whilst you’re here, why not check out my other recipes?
Deep Fried Recipes
What to serve with Chicken Tenders?
These are also perfect as an appetizer with a yummy dip! Here I’ve served with Sriracha-Lime Mayo, but here’s some other ideas:
- Blue Cheese Dip
- Cheese and Chive Dip
- Creamy Avocado Dip
- Roasted Garlic Aioli
- Sour Cream and Chive Dip
- Marinara Dip
Okay, let’s tuck into this Spicy Chicken Tenders recipe shall we!?
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How to make Spicy Chicken Tenders (Full Recipe & Video)
Spicy Fried Chicken Tenders
- 1.3lb / 600g Chicken Breasts, sliced into strips (one breast should get around 5-6 strips)
- 3-4 cups / 750ml - 1 litre Oil, for deep frying (see notes)
- 1 cup / 250ml Buttermilk
- 1/4 cup / 60ml Hot Sauce (I use Frank's)
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp White Pepper
- 1 3/4 cups / 225g Plain Flour
- 2 tsp Paprika
- 1.5 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1 tsp each: Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Baking Powder, Salt
- Combine your chicken with the marinade, cover and place in the fridge for as long as you have time for. Preferably overnight, absolute minimum 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, combine all of your dry mix. I find this easiest in a small tray, but you could also use a bowl. One by one, coat your chicken strips in the dry mix, making sure you cover every spec of chicken. Press the mix right into the chicken so it goes nice and flaky. Place on a wire wrack and repeat.
- Heat up your oil to around 350f/175c. To test without a thermometer, drop a tiny piece of batter in the oil, if it very slowly rises to the top, you should be good to go. A medium heat for around 5-8 minutes should obtain this.
- Working in batches of 3-4, carefully place your strips into the oil. Separate them with tongs if the instantly stick together, then leaves for 3-4mins until they start turning golden. Flip over and leave for another few minutes until deep golden and visibly crispy. If your oil is too hot simply pour in more oil/turn down heat. If you're not confident with deep frying then test one strip first.
- Place on a wire rack with a tray or paper towel underneath. Enjoy with a dip!
Quick 1 min demo!
For the perfect pairing to these chicken tenders, check out my Crispy Oven Baked Fries!